Affordable office dresses your co-workers will want to steal

Kitri makes perfect everyday office dresses. (Photo: Kitri)

This is the story of a blue-and-white polka-dot dress that has become the envy of my co-workers and strangers alike and the recipient of my own adoration. It has rightfully earned its place in my closet as my  favorite dress of the summer.

The first day I wore the dress to the office, I was bombarded by questions from at least four or five of my colleagues about where my dress was from. Later that afternoon, while I was rushing down the subway stairs to catch the train, a stranger interrupted and asked me, “Wow, I love your dress. Where is it from?” A few weeks later, while I was walking to dinner in SoHo, the same thing happened again. Believe me, no dress I’ve owned has caused this much commotion on the streets of New York.

Each time, I was proud to say that the dress wasn’t from a typical fast-fashion retailer like Zara or H&M, but rather, it was from a new fashion gem I had the pleasure of discovering: Kitri.

Yahoo Lifestyle Fashion Editor Julie Tong wears Kitri’s Eliana Polka Dot Wrap Dress in New York City. (Photo: Julie Tong)

Kitri is a London-based direct-to-consumer label founded by Haeni Kim in 2017. I met Kim earlier this summer, and when she showed up in our NYC office, she was (of course) wearing this polka-dot wrap dress. Needless to say, I got it soon after our meeting.

When I spoke with Kim, she said that she — like so many of us — enjoys wearing fashionable dresses to work but knows many are not quite appropriate. They are either too short or too revealing in all the places you want to cover up. This is why Kim paid extra attention to small details like the hemlines and necklines on her garments. Her dresses hit at the perfect midi length and are either long-sleeved or have short sleeves that extend down to your elbows for extra coverage.

Kitri Eliana Polka Dot Wrap Dress, $215.

This was the first wrap dress I finally felt secure in. In the past, wrap dresses never fully covered my chest enough to make me feel comfortable wearing them at work, nor did they cover my legs fully when I sat down. To resolve this, Kim designed an asymmetrical hem that allowed for fuller coverage. The wrap dress is also made from a crêpe de chine material, which is soft, slightly thick, and durable. I can tell it’s a quality garment that won’t fall apart after a few wears or washes.

With Kitri, Kim has been able to tap into the perfect sweet spot between fast fashion and luxury. It offers a beautiful selection of work-appropriate dresses, as well as summery off-the-shoulder dresses, cocktail dresses, and even a few elegant frocks for wedding season. Think dreamy, vintage-inspired prints refreshed in a modern color palette. The line also includes jackets, blouses, trousers, and jumpsuits — all affordably priced starting at just $60 and up to $350.

Kitri Leana Pleated Shirt Dress. (Photo: Kitri)
Kitri Rosalie Frill Wrap Dress. (Photo: Kitri)

The brand is unique in that it does not follow the traditional fashion calendar of two seasons. Rather, new items are released every month. This ensures that the fresh designs you want are always attainable — and the dresses won’t put a big dent in your budget.

And if you were wondering, the name Kitri was inspired by the female character in the ballet “Don Quixote.” Kim, who was a ballerina herself in London, was inspired by the character and set out to create “dream pieces” that women could actually wear for years to come.

Take my advice and head to now. I have no doubt your purchases will become the envy of your office.

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